Lifelong learning (i24)

In 2021, 10.2% of the Belgian population aged 25-64 participated in (formal or non-formal) training in the last four weeks before the interview. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure had to reach 15% (following the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training, ET 2020). This objective was not be reached by continuing the trend since 2000 (data available in November 2021). Lifelong learning is therefore developing unfavourably.

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Lifelong learning - Belgium - trend assessment

percentage of population aged 25-64

 20002005201020152020202120252030
observations6.28.37.46.97.410.2----
trend and extrapolation (November 2021)6.57.37.37.57.98.08.28.4
objective 203015.015.015.015.015.015.015.015.0

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), trng_lfse_01, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022) & calculations FPB.

Lifelong learning - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of population aged 25-64

 199220002002201020152016202020212021//19922021//20162021//2002
Belgium2.36.26.07.46.97.07.410.25.37.82.8
EU27----5.37.810.110.39.110.8--1.03.8
//: Average Growth Rates

break in time series: BE in 1999, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2014, 2017, 2021; EU in 2003, 2006, 2013, 2021

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), trng_lfse_01, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022).

Lifelong learning by region - Belgium

percentage of population aged 25-64

 20002005201020152016202020212021//20002021//2016
Brussels-Capital Region6.712.09.611.210.010.314.63.87.9
Flemish Region6.99.18.47.07.17.710.82.28.8
Walloon Region4.65.84.95.45.75.67.52.45.6
//: Average Growth Rates

The margin of uncertainty for this indicator is indicated in the text for the latest year. Break in time series: 2004, 2006, 2008, 2014, 2017, 2021

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), trng_lfse_04, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022).

Lifelong learning by sex - Belgium

percentage of population aged 25-64

 19922000201020152016202020212021//19922021//2016
females1.75.77.67.37.57.710.46.46.8
males2.86.77.26.56.57.110.04.59.0
//: Average Growth Rates

break in time series: 1999, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2014, 2017, 2021

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), trng_lfse_01, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022).

Lifelong learning by education - Belgium

percentage of population aged 25-64

 20002005201020152016202020212021//20002021//2016
less than primary, primary and lower secondary education2.23.13.23.02.82.44.02.97.4
upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education6.57.36.15.55.34.86.80.25.1
tertiary education11.915.312.311.211.511.915.51.36.2
//: Average Growth Rates

break in time series: 2004, 2006, 2008, 2014, 2017, 2021

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), trng_lfse_01, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022).

Definition: share of the population aged 25 to 64 who participated in (formal or non-formal) training in the last four weeks before the interview. The data come from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Statistics Belgium organises this EU-harmonised survey in Belgium and makes the results available, in particular to Eurostat. The survey methodology was reviewed in 2017. Comparison of the 2017 data with previous years should be done with caution. The data used here come from Eurostat, which publishes detailed and comparable results between EU Member States. Since these data are based on surveys, a margin of uncertainty must be taken into account. This margin of uncertainty increases as the indicator is calculated on smaller sub-populations. The confidence intervals for these data are available on request from Statistics Belgium.

Goal: the share of the population taking part in lifelong learning must reach at least 15% in 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 4.3: "By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university".

The European Council of 12 May 2009 adopted in its conclusions a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET, 2020; Official Journal of the European Union, 28/5/2009). It set the following target: "With a view to increasing the participation of adults in lifelong learning, particularly that of the low-skilled: By 2020, an average of at least 15% of adults should participate in lifelong learning". As there is no target for 2030, this target is assumed to remain valid.

International comparison: Belgium is running more and more behind the European average. Belgium's small lead of 0.7 percentage points in 2002 (even 1.5 in 2004) steadily turned into a small gap of 0.6 percentage points in 2021 (even 3.3 in 2016). When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with average performance and is below the European average in 2021. In that year, Sweden ranked first with 34.7% and Bulgaria last with 1.8%.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to indicator 4.3.1 - Participation rate of youth and adults in formal and non-formal education and training in the previous 12 months, by sex.

Sources

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